The time-hallowed thirty-second TV ad spot is dead. Long live the new digitally customized thirty-second TV ad spot!

News Corporation's Fox Television network has a marketing ace tucked up its sleeve. A digitally customizable ad that can be altered to match the audience profile of any given program.

Scripts, graphic elements, voiceovers - all can be modified without the need to create additional commercials to respectively target, say, seniors and teens.

A beer commercial, for instance, could have actors refer to the particular teams in a sporting event. Or soup ads could make topical reference to wintry weather in an effort to move more product.

Former BBDO executive Bill Katz, now executive chairman of Visible World, extols his company's "living, breathing commercial" technology.

"Why would you show the same commercial on American Idol that you would show on Nascar?" he asks. "After all, each TV show has different audiences - not just men or women, or consumers between the ages of 18 and 49, but sports fans, comedy buffs or music aficionados."

Among the minority shareholders in Visible World are Comcast Corporation, Reuters and WPP Group.

Katz claims that many broadcasters are mulling use of the new customizable technique, although Fox is the first to pick up the ball and run with it. Fox expects to announce the new service in a matter of days, although it has yet to officially sign any advertisers.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff